In 2024, CIUSSS-West-Central Montreal will undergo accreditation to become certified as "Baby-Friendly", as part of the Baby-Friendly Initiative. The facilities of the former CSSS de la Montagne have already been certified, and once accreditation is achieved for the CIUSSS as a whole, the healthcare network will be able to celebrate this accomplishment as one.
For this to happen, specific steps must be taken and procedures must be put in place to meet the standards outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.
Adopting a breastfeeding policy was one of the first major tasks in this process. In addition, as of April 1, CIUSSS West-Central Montreal will proudly comply with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, which aims to provide infants with safe, healthful and ample nutrition, while protecting and promoting breastfeeding. The Code also tries to ensure the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, where necessary, including the availability of adequate information and the existence of appropriate marketing.
The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes aims to:
- Ban the promotion of infant formula, feeding bottles and nipples to the public
- Ban the distribution of free samples of the above items to pregnant women or parents
- Ban the promotion of these products in the healthcare system (no free samples or supplies)
- Ban the use of personnel who are paid by manufacturers to counsel parents
- Ban the distribution of personal samples or gifts to healthcare professionals
- Ban the promotion of commercial baby foods, such as canned solids, cereals, juices and bottled water, so as not to harm the practice of exclusive breastfeeding
- Require that all labels and packaging clearly mention the superiority of breastfeeding and that they include a warning about the risks and costs associated with artificial foods
- Ensure that manufacturers and distributors provide healthcare professionals with scientific information that is limited to the facts
- Ensure that all products are of good quality, that the expiry date is clearly indicated, and that the packaging does not include terms such as “humanized” or “maternalized”
- Avoid conflicts of interest by ensuring that healthcare professionals who work with infants and young children do not receive any financial compensation (e.g., vacations, invitations to conventions) from baby-food manufacturers
A portion of the content in this document has been translated from: MSSSQ (2008) Formation de base en allaitement maternel